tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC November 1, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
ip with the truth" tonight on "world news" -- finish line -- we are coast to coast with the latest polls. the colorful 11th hour pleas. and what it will mean for americans when the voting is over. tracking terror -- what did the u.s. know before the cargo plane bombs were found? and who is the 28-year-old named as the master bombmaker? health alert -- new details on the real toll of the legal substance putting the most americans at risk. and we, the people -- the farmers, doctors, singers -- portraits of the surprising men and women who decided to make this race. and good evening to all of you. by any measure, tomorrow is the day america decides. there will be a new road map for
the next two years. and buses are lining up to take voters to the polls. minutes of last-minute calls hoping to fire up supporters. in all, 435 house races, 37 senate races and 37 for governor. and tomorrow, we're going to learn a lot about washington and ourselves. sending a message to congress and the president. and our big political team is on the streets across the country tonight covering it all. so let's begin this election eve with jake tapper at the white house. jake, i can only imagine they're getting ready for a very long day and a very long night. >> reporter: that's exactly right, diane. top democrats say they expect republicans to take control of the house of representatives tomorrow. but the fight is on to contain the damage, keep the senate in democratic hands and get every last voter to the polls. democrats in colorado say to get out the vote in this final push they are knocking on more than 600,000 doors. >> have you made up your mind about who you're supporting for u.s. senate? >> reporter: and they're making
1 million phone calls, some of them made today by senator bennett himself, in the fight of his life. >> i would be honored if you cast your vote for me. >> reporter: and as voters prepare to go to the polls in just a few hours, we asked a number of them from coast to coast, in one word, what is your hope for washington in the next two years? >> jobs. >> bipartisanship. >> peace. >> change. >> jesus. >> cooperation. >> success. >> unity. >> accountability. >> skill. >> moderation. >> order. >> reporter: republicans seem to have the wind at their backs this season but they're not taking anything for granted. they have an aggressive operation in missouri, for example, for republican roy blunt's senate race. >> we're calling to find out if we can count on your vote with roy blunt. >> reporter: president obama did radio interviews with everybody from ryan seacrest to bad boy michael basden. >> i want to make sure that all your listens understand. >> reporter: surrogates are on the trail. sarah palin, bill clinton. >> thank you.
>> reporter: some candidate's appeals are based on their being victims. >> my opponent is on the side of the special interests that have dropped so many millions against us. >> when they can't attack you on substance, they try to call you names. >> reporter: it's an unusual election year, where many nonpoliticians are trying their hand, such as in arizona, with tea party candidate, physicist and republican house candidate ruth mcclung. >> being a physicist i love equations, i love facts. and what we're seeing right now, it's not adding up. >> reporter: and, diane, president obama tomorrow will be monitoring the results, doing more radio interviews to get out the vote and, of course, his normal presidential duties, meetings and so forth. diane. >> all right, jake, thanks. with me now, george stephanopoulos. we're co-anchoring coverage starting tomorrow night. a long 48 hours ahead for the two of us. tell me what the rumble is that you're hearing right now. >> the rumble is if you look at our latest poll, this is another big change election coming up for the united states. the third in a row. you know, the last election,
voters who wanted change voted overwhelmingly for president obama. this time around, they're voting for republicans. but it's interesting how it's shaking out. if you just look at eligible voters, registered voters, they break for the democrats 49-44. but then when you dig down and get the voters most likely to vote, it flips over to the republicans -- 49 republicans, 45 democrats. and that's because republicans, much more certain to vote this time around. 74% of republicans say they're certain to vote tomorrow. already have voted. only 59% of democrats say they're certain to vote. >> so much about who you turn out. as you know, a few bus loads of people can change a congressional election. >> absolutely right. >> which ones are you watching early tomorrow? >> early on tomorrow night, indiana, the polls close at 7:00. democrats are defending three contested house seats in indiana. early in the night, if republicans win two out of those three, they're well on their way to getting the 39 house seats they need to take control of the house. on the senate side, i watch the
state of west virginia. the polls close there at 7:30. they have a governor, joe manchin, 70% approval rating in the state. president obama, under 40%. if joe manchin wins at 7:30 tomorrow night in west virginia, the chances of the republicans taking over the senate are very, very small. >> that could be one of the early things we know tomorrow night when we get started. as you know, george, in so many ways, the race under the strongest microscope is the one in nevada. and the state has the country's highest unemployment rate, 14.4%. also the highest foreclosure rate. and the biggest power in the senate, democratic majority leader harry reid. he is pouring it on against the tea party candidate. john karl is in reno tonight where it is neck and neck. john. >> reporter: for republicans, there would be no bigger prize in the country than winning this race, defeating the most powerful person in the u.s. senate. how important is harry reid's re-election to the white house?
this is one of only two places in the country where an obama is campaigning today. and it's the more popular one. >> my husband, he can't do this alone. he needs leaders like harry reid to help him. because in the end, our campaign was never just about putting one man in the white house. it was about building a movement, a movement that went beyond one year, one campaign. >> reporter: as for harry reid, a four-decade career in public service has come down to this moment. >> you know, i'm not finished fighting. i'm not finished fighting for jobs or to keep nevadans in their homes. >> reporter: meanwhile, sharron angle makes one last effort to get votes in reno. her strongest supporters seem to be those who simply detest harry reid. >> there's two people i hate in the world, okay.
that's a guy who ran over my dog who was in a ditch when i was in the military and harry reid. >> reporter: in an exclusive interview with abc news, angle stopped short of predicting victory. did you think you've done what you need to do? do you think you can win this? >> i'm still doing what i need to do and that's get out and talk to voters. >> reporter: we asked her about one of her more controversial positions, about getting the united states out of the united nations. >> i think that that's one of those nonessential places that we really need to look at. >> reporter: this race may come down to who voters dislike the least. as one republican pollster told me, these may be the two most unpopular senate candidates in the entire country right now. but of course, diane, one of them has got to win. >> as we said, though, john, a big wild ride from coast to coast. and, now, with the pulse from other regions, let's begin with john quinn no knowness, he is in florida to watch the race there. john.
>> reporter: diandiane, the big story out of florida is marco rubio, the young charismatic cuban-american who is a rising star among conservative republicans. the latest polls show him with a commanding lead over democrat kendrick meek and independent charlie crist, the republican governor here who last april switched parties, declaring himself an independent. rubio is 39 years old, the father of four, and the first major candidate that the tea party embraced. he ran against the establishment here in florida. but he's not an extremist. he's managing to stay away from any silliness or craziness that might place him in the fringes of the gop. he's married to a former miami dolphins cheerleader who happens to be colombian. for the republicans, who have had trouble courting the hispanic vote, diane, rubio would be a tremendous asset. in fact, there's already talk that he's on the short list as a republican candidate for vice president in 2012. diane. >> right, john, thanks so much. and 14% of florida voters are hispanic. want to head out to washington state now, all the way on the other side of the country, sharyn alfonsi is there, sharyn.
>> reporter: well, diane, there is driving rain and wind here tonight, but it isn't expected to affect voter turnout tomorrow because most voters actually mail in their ballots. and that means it could be weeks before we know who wins the senate race here. we have incumbent patty murray and her republican challenger dino rossi going head to head in a very tight race. now, voters here actually only have to have their ballots postmarked by november 2nd so it could take weeks for all those ballots to roll in. you'll remember, in 2004, it took more than a month before they could officially name the governor here. because they had counts and recounts. they're hoping that doesn't happen tomorrow. but they're saying the drama here in washington state could extend well into december. diane. >> okay, sharyn, thanks. as we said, abc news will be out in force tomorrow night. but there is one person who's already gotten a surprise on this campaign, a famous actor. listen for a moment to a campaign ad for a republican candidate in north carolina.
>> regular people asking basic questions. that's what congressman david price is afraid of. >> if you think that's oscar-winner morgan freeman, you're not alone. the problem is, it is not morgan freeman. and, by the way, a similar republican ad is running in wisconsin, evoking his voice. the actor says that, too, is an imitator of him and he is not endorsing these candidates. once again, a reminder. our abc news election team will have all the results tomorrow night beginning at 9:30 eastern. as always, at abcnews.com/worldnews where you can tell us more of the one word you want washington to get done for you in the next two years. and we move on now to that cargo plane terror plot. an abc news exclusive. weeks before the two bombs headed for chicago were intercepted overseas last thursday, u.s. intelligence was tracking a plot to target cargo planes. frantically working to put the pieces together. chief investigative correspondent brian ross is here
with that tonight. brian. >> reporter: well, diane, u.s. intelligence officials tell abc news they feared al qaeda operatives in yemen were plotting to attack since mid-september when they detected what now appears to have been a dry run shipment. like the real bombs, the dry run packages were sent by air cargo from an airport in yemen to addresses in chicago. u.s. officials tell abc news the dry run packages were intercepted in transit in september following an intelligence tip that they contained religious books and literature and were sent by someone with ties to al qaeda. >> they wanted to follow the packages using the tracking system to know exactly when they got to a point, how long the timer had to be set for, so that the bomb would go off at the right point which presumably was over chicago. >> reporter: u.s. officials say while they feared the real thing was coming, it was not until late thursday that they had specific information based on a tip from saudi intelligence. the saudis were able to provide
the fedex and u.p.s. tracking numbers of the bomb packages. >> it's not just important in this situation, that's critical. i don't know how you stop that without stopping global commerce, if you don't have the precision to search for one package or another. >> reporter: but the bombs were so cleverly hidden inside desk top printers that even with the saudi tip, police in england first cleared the package there for shipment after x-ray screening. only after tearing the printers apart did officials find the hidden explosives in the ink cartridge and a cell phone circuit board, all designed to be detonated on the aircraft, u.s. officials now say. >> if one cargo plane is taken down by a bomb, you could literally shut down cargo transport across the world. >> reporter: as a result, virtually all air cargo out of yemen now has been grounded. and germany and the united kingdom have even prohibited passenger flights from that country, diane. >> brian, thank you. as you've been telling us, at the center of this plot, there's a young man believed to have
built the printer bombs in yemen. after a chilling trail of terror attempts. martha raddatz was in london after one of his signature attempts, the underwear bombing on christmas day. >> reporter: the man believed to have built the devices, 28-year-old al asiri, is a fanatical member of al qaeda looking for a spectacular attack. >> nine years after september 11th, al qaeda is still obsessed with blowing up airplanes coming into the united states of america. >> reporter: asiri is so fanatical, that officials say last year, he packed explosives into a body cavity of his own 23-year-old brother and sent him on a suicide mission. to kill the head of saudi intelligence. asiri had his brother pose as a repentant jihadist who had information for the intelligence chief. but the bomb exploded prematurely, blowing asiri to bits, but sparing the saudi intelligence chief. the fbi, state department,
diplomatic security and the tsa are all sending teams over to yemen to help with the investigation. but what many in the u.s. are pushing for is moving armed cia drones into yemen in a very big way, but that would take yemeni approval. diane. >> thanks, martha. that he would create the bomb as a suicide bomb for his own brother says everything. martha raddatz reporting tonight. still ahead on "world news" -- the most dangerous drug of all may not be what you think. and it might be in your home right now. and what does this farmer, a pizza shop owner and a doctor have in common? a portrait of america tonight. a portrait of america tonight. ♪ [ man ] if it was simply about money, every bank loan would be a guarantee of success. at ge capital, loaning money is the start of the relationship, not the end.
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overall, alcohol is more destructive than even heroin and crack cocaine. >> unquestionably, the reason it is so harmful is because so many people use it, so many people are dependent on it, so many people get into trouble with it. >> reporter: the findings raise eyebrows and not everyone agrees. how could alcohol possibly cause more harm than hard-core narcotics? it's a matter of numbers and availability. alcohol is legal, socially acceptable and it's everywhere. about 1 in 12 adults in the u.s. abuse alcohol or are dependent on it. despite this report though, there is hope. >> i have never felt better, never looked better. >> reporter: new treatments for alcoholism, like this injectable drug, called vivitrol, taken once a month. it's able to cut down the desires to drink by blocking neurotransmitters in the brain associated with making you feel high. >> my whole life revolved around drinking. >> reporter: doctors say medications like these have already helped tens of thousands of people like this woman, people who have a problem that may be more destructive than we ever thought. jeremy hubbard,
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teachers, police officers, a pilot, a dentist and eye doctors. an amazing kaleidoscope of american citizens running for office. in michigan, it's a hay farmer running for the house. >> when you work a hay farm your entire life, people aren't your voters, they're your neighbors. >> i think it's a vision of america, moving forward, rebuilding our economy. >> reporter: in southern california, a police officer is running for the first time. in northern california, a candymaker. and then there's the owner of a pizza parlor. he's the republican nominee for a seat in moline, illinois. they're just a handful of the dazzlingly diverse group of the more than 200 candidates that tomorrow are seeking public office for the very first time. most are running for the house of representatives. 16 candidates running for congress are doctors, including larry bucshon, an indiana heart surgeon who was upset about health care reform. >> i decided that people from the private sector, especially in medicine like myself, need to step forward.
>> reporter: four of the first-time candidates for major office are former basketball or football players. there's even a gospel singer from frog jump, tennessee. 138 women are major party candidates vying for house seats. 38 candidates are latina and 61 african-american, of which 14 are republicans. tim scott of south carolina, a tea party conservative, is favored to become the first african-american republican elected to congress from the deep south since reconstruction. his district, 75% white. >> there's no question that the issues are more important than the race. >> reporter: together, this eclectic array of citizen candidates is a portrait of america. ron claiborne, abc news, new york. it will be a big day tomorrow and tomorrow night. we'll keep you right in the middle of the action here on abc news and see you on "world news" tomorrow night.
because of you, we're going to win. >> final hours of the 2010 campaign. >> this is the last place we're going to win the world and and republicans hoping that california follows course. >> i feel like we're going to win. i'm really excited. >> good evening, everyone. there is a final push to get out the vote. >> jerry brown is wrapping up his campaign tonight. republican, meg whitman discounting polls showing her trailing by double digits. >> mark matthews is in oakland tonight with what has become the most expensive governor's race in state hist rye barbara lee, i understand it's jerry brown is in the house. he's going ton the stage a